Situated right in the middle of Indiana is its capital and most populous city, Indianapolis. It takes up most of Marion County with a total estimated population of 867,000. As a metropolitan area extending beyond the borders of Marion County, the population of this area locals call “Indy” is well over 2,000,000. We think Indianapolis is a fantastic place to live, but in this article we’ll give you both the pros and cons related to important topics such as the cost of living, public schools, crime, real estate, but also less lofty topics such as the professional racing scene and where you can enjoy a great steak dish. In short, we’ll cover all the Indy news that’s fit to print!
Indy has a Place for Everyone: Many Neighborhood and Suburb Options
Whatever kind of neighborhood or suburb appeals to you most, you can bet you’ll find it somewhere in or near Indianapolis, Indiana. Looking for a great place to raise a family? Indy has it. Want to be near all the culture and arts activities? Indy has that as well. Families looking for a more rural lifestyle with the option getting into the city when you want to won’t have to drive very far outside Indy to find it. Need a more reasonable cost of living? Indy’s cost of living is 6.5% below the national average. Whatever niche you’re looking for, you’ll find it in or near Indianapolis. The Indy area offers upscale suburbs as well as places where the cost of real estate is surprisingly low. And you’re wondering what kinds of things there are to do in and around Indianapolis, one of the best ways to find out is to make like a tourist and check out the Visit Indy website, which is the official tourism site of Indianapolis and a great guide for discovering all about the city.
Pros and Cons of Living in Indianapolis: Schools, Crime, Real Estate
When you’re moving your family to a place like Indy, you want to know about schools, crime, and real estate. Here’s some information about each of those:
- Schools: What are public schools like in and around Indianapolis? Like any major metropolitan area, there are incredibly good schools as well as schools that struggle. But the thing to know about schools in Indianapolis and throughout the state of Indiana is its robust school choice or school voucher program. Enacted in 2011, Indiana’s Choice Scholarship Program has made plenty of news headlines as one of the largest school voucher programs in the United States. It provides scholarship funds to low-income and middle-income families to offset the cost of attending a participating school other than a family’s assigned public school. Learn more about the Indiana Choice Scholarship Program.
- Crime: Like any big city, Indianapolis has its share of crime, including violent crimes. As is also the case in many cities, the crime problems tend to be concentrated in particular urban areas, which can easily be avoided.
- Real Estate: As a major metropolitan area, Indy’s housing stock and real estate prices vary widely by location. In the city, the median list price of a single-family home is right around $165,000. As a median price, that means half the available homes are more expensive than the median and half the available homes are less expensive than the median. Head just outside the beltway to an upscale suburb like Zionsville and the median price of a home is $470,000!
When you come explore Indy yourself before moving here, we’re confident you will find many more pros than cons!
Career Opportunities in Indy
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the data shows unemployment rates in Indianapolis were under 3% in the latter months of 2019, and although it has edged up slightly since then, it is still well below the national average of 4%. This means there are lots of job opportunities throughout the metro area. Three Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in the city, including health insurance company Anthem, Simon Property Group (the largest real estate investment trust in the country), and pharmaceutical giant Ely Lilly, which is the city’s largest employer with 11,000 workers.
The biggest industries in the metro area include finance, insurance, real estate, health care, biotechnology and life sciences. Because of its central location with easy highway and rail access to several key midwestern cities (Louisville KY, Cincinnati OH, St. Louis MO, Chicago IL), another nickname for the city is the Crossroads of America, which is why the metro area is home to more than 1,500 logistics and distribution companies employing more than 100,000 people, including the second-largest FedEx hub in the world.
If you’re looking to take your career to the next level, Indy is a great place to make it happen!
Indianapolis: No Mean City
As explained on the No Mean City website:
“In 1897, President Benjamin Harrison—a long-time Indianapolis resident—called Indy “no mean city.” And in 1909, then-Mayor Charles Bookwalter laid the cornerstone of Old City Hall, solidifying the community’s rallying cry in the stone’s inscription: “I am, myself, a citizen of no mean city.” A simple phrase, plainly stating what most out-of-towners notice right away: Indy’s a friendly, welcoming place. But it’s more than that. The city is also bold, significant—better than average. Indy is a place where the good life is possible. Where a comfortable home and time for family are equally attainable. Where people respect history, yet fight for progress.”
As a major city, Indy has its problems, but there is also a sense of community rare for a city of its size.
The Racing and Restaurant Scenes in Indianapolis
When it comes to entertainment in the Indy metro area, we have to spend a little time talking about racing and restaurants.
As most people know, Indy is home to the single biggest annual sporting event in the world: The Indianapolis 500. Overall attendance is upwards of 300,000 people who descend on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway each year on Memorial Day weekend to watch the Indy 500. The event was first held in 1911, making it the oldest automobile race in continual operation. The racing park is easily accessible from the city as well as any suburb of the metro area. But racing isn’t the only professional sport you can experience in Indy. The city is home to the Indiana Pacers, an NBA basketball team, and the Indianapolis Colts NFL football team.
When it comes to restaurants, everyone has been surprised by the rise of Indy on the culinary scene. Condé Nast Traveler actually named Indianapolis the “Most Underrated Food City” in the country! As journalist Amber Gibson put it in the Pioneer Press: “No other city in America has such a dynamic, democratic and still largely unheralded culinary scene right now.” You can find out more about the foodie scene by visiting Eating & Drinking in Indy. And if you’re looking for hearty, unique, down-home dish, find a place that has Beef Manhattan on its menu! There are countless restaurant venues that offer every kind of cuisine and dining experience imaginable.
Quality of Life and Culture in Circle City
With the beautiful Monument Circle located in the heart of Indy, yet another of its nicknames is Circle City. And when it comes to cultural attractions, Indianapolis doesn’t disappoint. In fact, the city spent 12 years planning and $62.5 million in a public-private partnership to create the Indianapolis Culture Trail. It’s a network of pedestrian and bike paths that connect all the main downtown arts, cultural, heritage, sports, and entertainment venues to the city’s neighborhoods. You’ll be hard-pressed to find something like this in any other comparable city. Learn more about all the amazing sites available along the trail on the official Cultural Trail website.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this very brief introduction to Indianapolis, Indiana. And you should know we barely even scratched the surface of all there is to love about Indy. When it’s time for you to make your move to Circle City, Busy Bee Movers is the company ready to help you have the smoothest, least-stressful move you’ve ever experienced. Just call us at 317-695-9927 or fill out the form on the Contact Us page of our website!